So, it’s 11:30 p.m, (MST). I went to bed two and a half hours ago. But I didn’t go to sleep, I’ve just been crying. And simultaneously trying to figure out why the words of some stranger on the other end of a call has me so upset. That man who spoke those words to me, he is nothing to me, he has no significance in my life, he has no connection to me. And I’m not a wilting flower by any means. Because of everything I’ve had to survive, I’m pretty tough, and pretty astute. I don’t take on what isn’t mine, I don’t get offended easily. In fact,, surviving my life has made me have some pretty iron clad walls around myself. So why the tears that won’t stop?
I mean everyone did the right things, my friend empathized. My other friend said, ” “You should have said, ‘you already know one sign'” and showed her middle finger. that made me laugh hilariously. All validating responses. So why does it still bother me so?
Because it’s dehumanizing to be told you are not worthy of someone’s time just because you are Deaf. Here’s what happened.
I was on a call with a referral client. I was using my VRS (Video Relay service). They man on the other end said, “Have someone who can speak English call us back, we don’t have time for this.”
I should blow it off, it ultimately isn’t about me, it’s about ignorance of the other person.
But it gets tiring and today, it just punched me in the gut and hurt a lot.
The thing about being Deaf is, no matter how much time passes, I will have to deal with this. It’s never going to stop. Ignorance abounds, kind ignorance and cruel ignorance. Neither one is ideal.
Even the interpreter in the call stopped the call and told the person who was so mean that his behavior was not acceptable. And at the end of the call when she was apologizing for having had to go through that, she was sincere. I could see it in her face.
And that’s what it is. Her face. Her hands.
Watching them relay his ugly words. Watching her face contort to relay his ugly feelings. And in that moment my armor cracked ever so slightly and yet in a big way. I think for many reasons my Deafness is my achilies heel. it’s the one place I’m extremely vulnerable and when I’m faced with things I can’t do, by absolutely no means of my own..it hurts and takes me out for a count or two. It twinges on losing that job that meant so much to me because they wouldn’t hire an interpreter for the meetings, it twinges on all the interviews that ended as soon as they called me via an interpreter phone service. It twinges on the stuff with nurse ratchet. All these little things that honestly are not my fault, but that cause the stupid ignorance to come out in others.
And the bottom honest line is…it hurts. a lot. And I don’t do hurt.
But it’s here, and it does hurt.
Hence, the tears.
Hopefully I’ll be done crying now and go to bed because I desperately need my sleep.
This isn’t a much better post than my other one.
I have more to say but this at least helped.
I’m taking my chipped armor and heading to bed.